The Andar Conmigo exhibition hosted in Alexander Arzú’s personal studio located inside of Art Square Studios (2315 Commerce Street, Suite 17) will run from April 4th – 6th, 2019 from 4pm-8pm each day for free, with the artist and curator present. There are opportunities for private viewings for purchase through Eventbrite.
This will be an opportunity to explore the different facets of Garifuna history and identity through the art and lens of Arzú, a first-generation US born visual artist of Garifuna Honduran heritage. This will be a multimedium exhibition including sketches, paintings, photography, digital art, video and music. There will be text installed that will give background on Garifuna history, language, culture and cosmovision. This is a chance to get an intimate look at one of Houston’s leading muralists and learn about his cultural influences. The exhibition will be bilingual (English and Spanish).
Alexander Arzú, a graduate of the University of Houston’s School of Architecture class of 2009, formed the Zú Art Collective to promote inclusivity within the arts and to bring together artists who want to make a change in their communities. He departed from his architecture career in 2012 to be a full-time Visual Artist; he currently has a private studio in East Downtown Houston pursuing a successful art career in body art, contemporary art, illustrations, and murals. In addition, he guest lectures and conducts continuing education workshops for artists in the Houston area.
He is currently the central artist in the first series of #HeartofGS murals, in the Green Street complex of Downtown Houston, now in its fifth installation out of six. He, also, was a part of the Gulfton Story Trail, this past fall, that translated poetry from the community into murals. In 2017, Arzú collaborated with Vecino Health Centers and Avenue CDC in the expansive 300-foot “Let Health Shine” mural that spans a fence parallel to the MetroRail route on Fulton, off of Crosstimbers. He has participated in multiple mural festivals including: HUE Mural Fest 2016-2017, Blast the Walls 2017, Meeting of Styles in 2013 and 2018, among others. Arzú has multiple mini murals throughout the Houston cityscape in collaboration with UP Art Studios. Arzú participated in an artist panel at Comicpalooza in 2018 to discuss the life of a working artist. Arzú has spoken on the topic of developing his livelihood in the arts with Creative Morning in 2015. Starting out 2019, he collaborated with Avenue CDC, artists Jesse de Leon and Lindsay Burck to create a 100-feet mural with Ketelsen Elementary School art students.
In addition, Vikki Trammell, co-owner of Art Supply on Main and Art Square Studios, had this to say:
I have known Alex Arzu for many years. I have a deep respect for him as an artist. As well as being an integral part of the vibrant Houston art community, he is also willing share his knowledge with others in the community. We are thrilled that he has chosen to open his studio in Art Square Studios on Commerce to share his vision and talent with the rest of the Houston art community.
The curator, June Gunaratne, is also the first generation born in the US of Thai and Sinhalese heritage. She is an alumna of the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in International Relations focusing on culture, media and arts and a minor in Latin American Studies. After returning from a study abroad in New Zealand she was motivated to join two indigenous centered social justice groups on campus. Gunaratne’s passion for the arts was cemented when she studied Visual History in Cuba. She followed that experience with a program in Guatemala where she studied a Mayan dialect and had the opportunity to interview the director of The Antigua Gallery. Her senior thesis centered indigenous traditional knowledge and how it could be used to solve economic and societal issues in a more holistic manner. Gunaratne and Zú met one another at the HUE Mural Festival and in 2017 she began working with the Zú Art Collective at various capacities. She now works in nonprofit in Austin, TX; she is a mother, photographer, blogger and avid art appreciator.
About the Zú Art Collective
The Zú Art Collective believes in Creative Collaboration. They are building a team that is artistically engaged with the social environment of Houston and the global art community at large by providing a platform and voice for communities not often represented in the arts.
For more information on the Artist
IG: @alexarzu or @zuartco
Alex Arzú’s talk on Creative Mornings:
For more information on the Curator